As the state of Delaware studies whether or not to legalize recreational marijuana, a new bill could take steps to ensure people affected by old cannabis laws are no longer punished.
On Wednesday, a bipartisan group of Delaware legislators introduced a bill that would clear minor marijuana convictions from their records, which would affect more than 1,000 people living in the state. The state decriminalized cannabis back in 2015, but didn't take any steps towards helping people who had been convicted under old laws. Anyone convicted for a minor marijuana crime between 1977 and 2015 would be eligible for getting their record expunged.
Despite most people recognizing that using marijuana isn't a big deal, cannabis convictions still affect people even years later. It can prevent them from obtaining certain employment or purchasing a home. So even if it's decades later, this legislation would greatly benefit people who are affected by it.
This would be a major step, considering even some states with legalized recreational marijuana haven't even taken steps to help people convicted of minor cannabis charges. But Delaware could take that step before they even legalize the drug.
Unfortunately, it seems that marijuana legalization in Delaware is in limbo at the moment. A task force meant to study the issue became embroiled in controversy, with many members of the commission voting against even releasing the results.
So while legalization may not happen in the near future, at least there's a chance people who are the greatest victims of prohibition may finally get some relief.
(h/t High Times)